Looks like we’ve got a vigilante in our midst

Commenter, friend, and recent birthday girl Lemmonex mentioned the term “vigilante justice” as has to do with people cutting in line yesterday. That got me to thinking, and eventually led me to the most memorable case of vigilante justice, and that’s because the offender ended up in handcuffs.

It was 1999. HFStival was at what is now M&T Bank Stadium, home of the Baltimore Ravens. It was a hot day, and the three of us, me, Deep Cover, and D, could only take so much standing shoulder to shoulder with so many other sweaty bodies, and retreated to the stands to sit. We were at about midfield in the first row. To the left was a stair that led all the way down to the field. To the right was a stair that stopped at the front row. See this stunning visual.

Looks like we've got a vigilante in our midst

We had a pretty sweet setup, as right in front of us on field level was a lemonade and water stand, and we paid off one of the dudes at the stand to refill our drinks all day. So really we didn’t have to move anywhere with an unobstructed view in front of us, and bottomless liquid refreshment at our fingertips. There was a constant flow of people on the stairs that led to the field, and it only intensified between sets. With the stair becoming more and more crowded, people began coming down the stair to our right and walking across the first few rows, though mainly the first, as a means of skirting the long wait to get down the stair to the field. It was okay every now and again, but we eventually became irritated when there was such a backup of cutters that the line went all the way down our row. Now I don’t always have to see at a concert like that, especially when it’s just roadies changing equipment out, but I don’t appreciate someone’s hot, sweaty crotch or ass in my face unnecessarily, and nor did anyone in the first few rows of stands. We took action, putting our arms and feet up on the rail in front of us and forbidding anyone to pass. Eventually security placed someone at the end of our row, with one of their duties being to keep people from cutting across, sending them back from whence they came and making them go down the main stair. It was working, with one exception.

With Deep Cover still holding the railing, this guy tried to cut across. He reached Deep Cover and tried to go through him. I tried to explain to the guy the same thing I’d explained to other people who had tried to cross, under the “people are less likely to listen when you tell them ‘you can’t do this’ than they are when you explain to them ‘this is why you can’t do this’ before you tell them they can’t” line of thinking. It had worked with everyone to that point, but this guy was adamant. He was just trying to meet his girl’s (I don’t know if she was wife or girlfriend) friend over there. But she’s right over there. He’d come this far already, and he wasn’t stopping now. His voice rose. Deep Cover steadfastly opposed. His girl showed up, and I tried to explain the same thing to her. Like a clone, she repeated almost verbatim his reasoning. But she’s right over there. Her voice would raise too. They tried to physically fight through Deep Cover, who held onto the rail like his life depended on it. The guy grabbed Deep Cover by the back of the head and started yelling at him. I stood up, expecting Deep Cover to slug him (because I would have). I told the guy he’d be better to turn back because the security guard at the end of the row wasn’t going to let him pass. Deep Cover let go of the railing and the guy and his girl had to squeeze around me because I wasn’t moving for them. I sat back down and kicked my feet up on the railing. I started to chastise Deep Cover for not standing up for himself when I felt the rail shake like a tuning fork.

I looked down the row and the guy and his girl were, as I predicted, stopped by the guard who was telling them to go back where they came from. The guy was animated, angrily slamming down his hand on the rail and demanding to be let through. I stood up and started yelling at him at about 15 yards.

“Didn’t I tell you what was going to happen, you dumb motherfucker?”

That got his attention.

“You wanna handle this?” he asked, putting up his dukes, “I was in the Army you know!”

“Oh-HO! Big fucking man. Why don’t you get the hell on and take that hag with you?”

Others in our section were cheering me on, as they’d been watching the whole time. At this point I saw three of Baltimore’s Finest coming down the stairs, pushing through people with their sights on the offenders. His girl saw them and went to run down the stairs, grabbing her man by his sleeveless shirt and trying to pull him away. I twisted the knife.

“Yeah, run away. Do what she says, you pussy-whipped bitch!”

He broke away and took a few steps toward me. She must’ve said something to him because he stopped, looked up the stairs at the descending cops, and went to follow his girl. They ducked into the crowd. Two cops went down to field level and one stopped at the end of our row.

“Which one is it?” he asked in our general direction.

No less than 8 people stood up and pointed down at him, shouting out descriptions. The two cops found him and cuffed him. They hauled him back up the stairs with his girl following him. I like to think my attempt to delay him aided in the cops apprehending him, but I don’t know for sure. Either way, justice was served.

Looks like we've got a vigilante in our midst

2 Responses

  1. OK, first off you know you like crotches in the face..don’t life.

    Second, it cracks me up that you called her a hag.

    I don’t know why that was the word that came to me. I’m not even sure I’ve used it since.

  2. Hag is an awesome word, but I don’t think I’ve ever used it in real life.

    Resolution 2009: use ‘hag’ in a conversation (heated or otherwise)

    Good resolution. Impossible to break until midnight on New Year’s Eve.

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